14 step Headphone buying guide India – For Office usages! + Entertainment

The Headphone buying guide India that you need!

This is a headphone buying guide in India that you were wishing for when it comes to headphones for entertainment and office work. I would also assume you do not want to listen to your boss’s voice in high-res so I would skip the high-end headphones.

But then you might want to use the same headphone for multiple purposes as well. 

This headphone buying guide is not aimed at professionals. But this buying guide is for office workers, coders, web developers etc. These are not pro-level suggestions to buy headphones for recording or music production etc.


14 step Headphone buying guide India

  1. Headphone Specifications
  2. Noise cancellation
  3. Call Quality
  4. Price
  5. Frequency Response
  6. Sensitivity
  7. Impedance
  8. Headphone Features [IMP for Office usages]
  9. Types of headphones [IMP for Office usages]
  10. Types of Headphone Drivers
  11. Headphone Connectivity
  12. Warranty
  13. Durability
  14. Comfort

Headphone buying guide India

Headphone Specifications

Headphones are sensitive to the frequency of the music.

Stereo sounds better than mono headphones any day

Headphones are designed for specific genres (e.g., EDM, reggae, Bollywood, techno and dancehall).

Headphones are mono for people with one ear.

For High-Res audio to work properly, you need lossless audio that is capable of reproducing the full range of sound. 

Noise cancellation

Noise cancellation is an important feature in headphones. It reduces the disturbance caused by outside noise. If you are using your cell phone for a long period of time then you should consider using noise-cancelling headphones. They will help you concentrate and get things done. Some people find it hard to sleep with the cell phone next to them because of the noise.

Call Quality

The headphones should have good call quality. If you are using them for business purposes then you should check for noise-cancelling headphones. Noise-cancelling headphones are very useful to cut out outside noises and thus increase your productivity. With the noise cancellation feature, the call quality does tend to improve.

Price

The price of the headphones should be as low as possible. There is no point in buying expensive headphones if you are only going to use them for business purposes. All you need is a clear voice in and out. But if you do not want to buy multiple headphones then you have to buy one headphone that works pretty well. You can take a look at the AKG k371 on amazon India. It can be wired, has Bluetooth and call function as well.

Frequency Response

The headphone’s frequency range is determined by the genre it is designed for. The upper frequency of Headphones must be at least 40 kHz to qualify as high-res.

The frequency range in most headphones is 20Hz-20,000Hz. Some audio manufacturers exaggerate the frequency response to lure customers. But for business or office work you do not need much of those and in general frequency response is not important.

A bit more room for the sound at the low and high end if they are slightly off the range is more needed for music and movies. And of course for office work.

And for home use, you can always adjust the EQ later on. There are a lot of EQ examples and presets on Github!

Sensitivity

Sensitivity specifies how loud headphones can get. 

Most headphones today have a standard sensitivity of around 96–110dB.

Headphones below 85 dB are too soft and should be avoided, and above 110 dB could potentially damage your hearing abilities. High and low sensitivity headphones require different amounts of power.

High-sensitivity headphones might distort at higher volumes, but damage to drivers is unlikely. Low-sensitivity headphones put more strain on the drivers, but they are less likely to cause damage than high-sensitivity headphones.

To get better sound quality, headphones with low sensitivity should be paired with high power supplying devices/AMPS. But anyway after the rant, I would say that for office work you should not need any high sensitivity headphones and AMPS or Dacs.

But if you want to be able to use the same headphone for all the tasks like movies, games, music then you might invest in a better headphone and then you might need a DAC and amp as well.

Headphones priced above 10k are generally hard to drive so you will need a DAC for them.

[Check Headphones over 10k in India – bliss for movies and music on amazon India]

Impedance

Impedance Headphones come in different impedance levels. A headphone’s impedance is the amount of power it requires operating.

To maximize power, low impedance headphones are best. The low impedance headphones are generally come with 32-50 impedance and can be run using a smartphone as well.

Higher impedance headphones are generally for studio and professional work. So you will not need them for listening to your boss and music. And low impedance headphones deliver sound at higher volumes with less distortion.

You might see this more in the audiophile headphone guide.

High-Resolution Audio

(Hi-Res Audio) This is one of the most exciting developments in the audio world. Hi-Res Audio, also known as High-Resolution Audio delivers sound with much more detail. It is useful when you are listening to music or watching movies.

For example, if you want to hear every single instrument or voice in a film then you should go for Hi-Res Audio. But, if you just want to enjoy a good movie then you don’t really need Hi-Res Audio. Because the movie will still be enjoyable even without it.

And if you do not listen to FLAC music or check movies for Dolby Atmos 5.1 all the time, then you should look into the HI RES logo when shopping for headphones for office work.

This should be your base for the headphone quality guide.

Stereo vs Mono USB-C Cables

Another important thing to consider is the cable that comes with your headphones. Most of the headphones come with a 3.5 mm stereo which fits all the devices except the new smartphones. They are too smart to include a 3.5mm jack in them.

But, if you use your headphones with a laptop or any other device that has only a USB-C port then you should get yourself a high-quality USB-C to 3.5 mm stereo adapter cable. This way, you can connect your headphones to your computer or any other device that has only a USB-C port.

And if you want to listen to High RES audio apart from using the headphone for office work then you might want to consider a USB to 3.5 DAC/AMP like this one. [ Fiio E10K on amazon India]

Headphone amplification for office and music

Many people think that a good pair of headphones should deliver 100% of the power to the ears. But, that is not true. You will still need some sort of amp or DAC to drive the headphones. And, the amount of amplification needed will vary depending on the source you are using.

If you are using a laptop or desktop and a mobile phone and if your headphone impedance is under 50 ohm then you do not need an AMP.

A good pair of headphones will have an input impedance of around 300 ohms. Thus, these will require a high-priced amplifier as well.

Next, we will talk about the amplifier that you should buy along with the headphones. Amplifiers generally come in two types: Desktop/Laptop amplifiers These amplifiers are small, portable, lightweight, and easy to use.

You can use them on the road or at your desk. They are perfect for listening to music or watching movies at home or in your car. Desktop/laptop amplifiers generally have a volume control knob and a power switch.

You can use the volume control knob to adjust the sound and also use the power switch to turn the amplifier on and off.

Headphone Features

To Look For In Headphones Apart from the price, there are certain features that you should consider when buying headphones. Let us discuss some of them

Noise Cancelling

This is very important if you are working in an open office or if you are using your headphones for commuting. If your headphones have active noise-cancelling then they will use two microphones to detect external noises and create an acoustic disturbance in the opposite direction to the external noise.

This feature is great for people who work in home offices with a lot of background noise. Without this feature, it is almost impossible to block out the external noises around you.

Thus, if you are looking for headphones for office work then you should definitely look for headphones with active noise-cancelling

Volume Control

Most headphone amplifiers come with built-in volume control. But, not all headphones have volume control. If your headphones do not have a volume control, then you will have to use the one on your computer or phone.

Headphones with volume control are very handy especially when you are listening to music or watching videos. When you are using your headphones at home or in an office environment, you should always use the amplifier’s volume control.

This allows you to adjust the volume of the headphones as required without affecting the volume of the surrounding speakers or other headphones. Comfort Some people prefer to wear extremely comfortable headphones.

Microphone

Some people like to use their headphones with a little microphone, so they can make and take phone calls while wearing the headphones. Some people like to use their headphones with chat functionality.

For example, if you are using Skype or another similar application then you can use the microphones in your headphones to have video calls with your friends and family and office people.

The microphones in your headphones should be high quality and have an unobstructed view of the other person. 

Balance Control Lightning Cable

Included This is one of the most important features, especially for mobile users. If you are using your headphones with a lot of movement, then you should consider this feature. With this feature, you can adjust the level of bass and treble in the audio signal sent from your headphones.

This will make it easier for you to listen to music or watch videos without having to turn down the volume of the rest of the audio in your environment. 

Tangle Free Cord

This is another very important feature, especially for mobile users. If you are like me, then you are always on the go. Thus, if your headphone cord gets tangled up with something else then it can cause you to lose connectivity to your device. With this feature, the cord of your headphones is designed to be tangle-free. 

This is a useful feature for home office users as well. With a small desk and tons of small items like notebooks, pens, pen stands, mobiles, the last thing you would want is a tangled headphone cable.

Replaceable Ear Pads

Earpads are replaceable and they are an important part of the comfort factor of any pair of headphones. They not only provide comfortable cushioning for your ears, but also act as a good acoustic seal between your ears and the headphones.

You should replace the ear pads of your headphones when they become uncomfortable or damaged. This will prevent outside sounds from getting into your headphones and causing discomfort or even damage to your hearing. 

Comply Eartips For in-ear earphones with mic

These are tiny little things that go in your ear canal. They are there to improve the fit and comfort of your headphones by allowing them to conform more closely to your head. You should replace the ear tips of your headphones when they get dirty or lose their ability to comfortably fit in your ear.

This will prevent outside sounds from getting into your headphones and causing discomfort or even damage to your hearing. 

Types of headphones

There are several different types of headphones that you can purchase. Some of these are in-ear, over-ear, and even ear-bud type. What is important is that you buy the one that fits properly in your ear. If it is too big, it will irritate your ear and cause you to not be able to enjoy your music for long periods of time.

If it is too small, then it will fall out and become lost or broken.

The type of headphones you should use depends on what you are listening to. If you are listening to music through your computer, then you should use in-ear or over-ear headphones. These will keep the noise out and allow you to hear clearly what you are listening to.

Wired vs. wireless

Wired vs. wireless headphones Wired headphones have a cord connecting the left and right ear cups. They generally have a 3.5mm jack on the cord that allows you to connect the cord to your mp3 player, cell phone or any other audio device.

Wireless headphones are convenient because you can take them with you anywhere and use them almost anytime. However, they have some disadvantages too. One big disadvantage is that the sound quality is not as good as wired headphones. Another disadvantage is that if you are using your wireless headphones when you are driving a car, you could get into trouble.

For office use, wireless should work fine.

Over-ear

Over-ear headphones are the most comfortable type of headphones you can wear. They have ear-cups that surround your ears and are very soft and cushioned. This makes them the best choice for people who have to use headphones for long periods of time.

Over-ear headphones usually have an inline volume control on the cord that goes from the headphones to your audio device. This allows you to adjust the volume without having to take off the headphones.

This is the best over-ear headphone in India, I am using it too.

On-ear

These headphones are designed to be worn on the outside of the ears, and they have a small cord that goes around the back of the neck. They are extremely comfortable to wear, and they stay in place even while you are working out. They are perfect for runners, bikers, and people who like to work out in the gym or at home. These are not as large as over-ear headphones.

But these are not as comfortable as the over-ear headphones as well. Some of us will feel some pain around the ear if wearing the on-ear headphones for a long period of time.

In-ear

In-ear headphones are small, lightweight earphones that are designed to be worn completely inside the ear.

They usually have a small plastic or rubber tip which fits into the ear canal. This keeps the headphones in place and allows for a seal to be formed between the ear and the headphones. They are perfect for exercise because they block out outside noise and allow you to concentrate on your music or audiobook.

Earbuds

Earbuds are small, little, wireless headphones that clip onto your ear.

They are extremely convenient and can be used for listening to music, watching videos, taking phone calls and even as a hands-free device for driving. These are good for office skype calls or Zoom meetings.

Special headphone features

Water resistance

The water resistance feature of headphones helps protect your hearing from the elements. Whether you are going for a jog, swimming laps, or just lounging by the pool, you can wear your headphones and enjoy all the sounds around you. This is good for people who exercise and listen to songs. But it is also helpful when you are taking office calls and sweating a lot!

Voice assistant

Using voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant can make your life easier by performing certain functions such as making phone calls, playing music, setting timers and providing weather reports.

Headphones with a voice assistant are extremely useful for working out because they allow you to keep focused on your exercise without missing any important details. They can also be used for studying by letting you listen to a lecture while taking notes.

Microphone and controls

The most obvious advantage of using headphones with a built-in microphone is that you don’t have to carry around a separate device. These are also good for talking and easy on the head due to their small size. But these can be larger as well when it is made for gaming.

On-ear headphones

On-ear headphones are good for short time office calls and listening to music or movies for a short duration of time. The on-ear headphones might put some pressure on the outer side of your ears thus after some time your outer ears will start to pain.

Why should you get on-ear headphones?

On-ear headphones are low cost and are easy to find online. These also do have some features like inline mic and controls so these are good for your office calls and meetings. You can watch movies with it but surely the movies are better with open-back over-ear headphones.

Why you might not want on-ear headphones Headphone buying guide

These on-ear headphones put a lot of pressure on the outer ears. And after an hour or two, the outer ear gets red and irritated. For long hours of work or play, you should avoid it.

Over-ear headphones

Over-ear headphones sit on the outside area of the ear. This does not put any pressure on the ear and is suitable for a long period of time.

Reasons to get over-ear headphones

These are generally of high quality and more comfortable. These should fit the largest ears and do not cause any pain.

Why should you get on-ear headphones?

These are the most expensive type of headphones. They are also used by musicians and pro audio engineers. What’s the difference between an on-ear headphone and an over-ear headphone? On-ear headphones usually have a small plastic tip that fits into the ear canal. Over-ear headphones do not have this tip.

Instead, they cover almost the entire ear. Thus, over-ear headphones are more comfortable for long hours of use. Earpads are small, soft pieces of material that go inside the ear to muffle outside noise. These are perfect for exercising or watching videos.

But they can be used when you are studying or working long hours as well. 

Why you might not want over-ear headphones

Over-ear headphones are open-back headphones. meaning, they do not isolate the sound, so you will listen to all the sound around you. And if other people listen closely, then they can listen to you as well.

These are also very costly.

Unless you are planning to watch high music and movies, then you might skip them for office work.

Closed-Back Headphones

Closed-back headphones are much more common in the market. They come with a small plastic tip that fits into the ear canal. These are perfect for studying or working quietly. But, they cannot muffle outside sounds as good as open-back headphones. So, if you are walking in a park or working out at the gym then you should avoid using closed-back headphones. 

Closed-back headphones with inline mics are great for office purposes and should be in your home gym.

Open Back headphones

Open back as the name suggests is the outside area of the headphone is open. The sound leaks both ways. These headphones are great for watching movies and listening to music. But you can not do that privately since others around you will be able to hear you if you are loud enough, and you will be able to hear the outside world as well.

Types of Headphone Drivers

The driver is the part of the headphone which produces sound. The type of headphone drivers varies from headphone to headphone. There are three types of headphone drivers. And while dynamic drivers are most common, you might want to take a look at others at well when selecting a headphone in India.

Dynamic/Moving Coil

Dynamic drivers produce the highest volume but also creates the most unwanted bass. This means they are great for watching movies and listening to music at high volumes. But they can be very uncomfortable if used for long hours.

Dynamic drivers produce the highest volume but also creates the most unwanted bass. This means they are great for watching movies and listening to music at high volumes. But they can be very uncomfortable if used for long hours. 

Balanced Armature headphone driver

This is the most comfortable type of headphone driver. They produce less volume than dynamic drivers but have less bass. These headphones are very good for office work, studying and light listening such as reading.

Because of their lower volume, they are better for extended use. These headphones are very good for office work, studying and light listening such as reading. Because of their lower volume, they are better for extended use.

Conventional Balanced Armature Conventional or standard dynamic headphones are very common. They are very comfortable and produce a decent volume. But they do have a little bit of unwanted bass.

Planar Magnetic

These headphones are very similar to conventional dynamic headphones. The only difference is the diaphragm is replaced by a magnetic plate. These headphones produce less bass than conventional dynamic headphones but have less volume. They are great for people who like music that has a little more “bite”.

These headphones are very similar to conventional dynamic headphones. The only difference is the diaphragm is replaced by a magnetic plate. These headphones produce less bass than conventional dynamic headphones, but have less volume. They are great for people who like music that has a little more “bite”.  

These are the costlier headphones and is audiophile grade.

Headphone Connectivity

Wired

Headphones with a cable connected to them are much more convenient. You can use them or take them with you wherever you go. But, there are some drawbacks. One of the biggest is, you cannot use them while you are moving. If you are walking or running, you will have to keep taking the cable off your head and tucking it into the waist of your sweatpants. This will be extremely inconvenient and uncomfortable.

Wireless

Another option is wireless headphones. These eliminate the need for a cable. They connect to your device using a wireless connection. This means no more fiddling with the cable when you are on the go. However, wireless headphones have some disadvantages too. The sound quality is poorer than wired headphones.

True wireless

Headphones do have a range. But, that range is very limited. You will need to stay within a few yards of your device for the connection to be strong and maintain a clear audio signal. If you are walking long distances or if you are in an area with lots of noise then these headphones are not for you. Bluetooth’s headphones are one of the best options available today. With Bluetooth, you can use your headphones with most devices. There are no cables to tangle up or get in the way.

When you’re buying a pair of headphones, there are a few things to take into consideration.

Warranty

A lot of headphones have a 1-year warranty. This is not enough for a hard-working person like me. If your headphones stop working after a year then it will seriously dent your enthusiasm for them. I always go for a longer warranty period. Most companies offer a 2-year or 3-year warranty. Some even go up to 5 years. Look for the longest warranty period available. It is better to pay a bit more and get a longer warranty period. It is worth it.

Durability

Look for a sturdy build of the headphones. Avoid cheaply made ones that are likely to break easily. 

Comfort

This is very important. If the earbuds are too tight, they will irritate your ears. This will result in the loss of your hearing. 

There are a few aspects of audio that need to be considered before purchasing headphones. What are you likely to use them for?

If you are into listening to FLAC music of 24 bit which is high rest then you have to buy high quality open or closed-back headphones. These will do justice to the FLAC file.

Other than this, for your calls, generic music and movies you do not need high-quality headphones at all. For office purposes, you will need a headphone with mic.

Should you get closed- or open-back headphones?

For instance, I’m leaning towards the latter because they’re a bit more comfortable and sound better to my ears. But, if you’ve got a set already, go ahead and stick with them. Just make sure they’re the right kind for the application you’re using them for. 

I like the open back headphone I am using for entertainment.

For calling and work, I usually use a wireless Bluetooth earphone.

True wireless earbuds

Why should you get true wireless earbuds?

The real problem is they can fall out of your ears at any time. This will result in a very embarrassing moment for you. You can use them in public without having to worry about, In fact, this is one of the main reasons people do not use them. It is just too damn risky. If you have to use earbuds then get the best you can afford.

These are not something you would use every day while commuting to work or going about your daily routine. But for home usage and office work, these would do fine. But these are costly and not good enough for movies and high-res music.

Why you might not want true wireless earphones?

For all the benefits of truly wireless earphones, there is one significant downside. The lack of wires means that the earbuds need to be charged, and they don’t last as long as traditional wired earphones.

The earphones are flimsy, they can break easily if they fall.

And these are very susceptible to fall since they do not fit perfectly.

Noise isolating vs. Active noise-cancelling headphones

These are two different types of headphones. They both are used for blocking out background noise. However, they work in different ways. Let’s take a look at how they differ: Noise Isolating Headphones: These are also known as passive noise-cancelling headphones. They work by using an acoustic filter. This filter is located on the outside of the ear cup and is designed to block out unwanted sounds.

The active noise-cancelling headphones are extremely effective at blocking out background noise so that you can listen to your music or audiobooks without distraction.

They are especially useful if you are exercising in a noisy environment such as a gym, a taxi, a plane or even a bus. If you use them often enough, you will begin to get used to the sound of the world around you and you will be able to hear the sound of your own heart beating or the sound of your breathing without any difficulty. This allows you to work out at a more intense level for a longer period of time.

Conclusion

This is it, this is how you would buy a headphone for your home office or office usages! you certainly do not need the top headphone in India but hopefully, this headphone buying guide in India has helped you!

Ref: Headphone and ear health research paper

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About the clumsy Author

I work from an old house with a garden.

I had to make a few adjustments and buy a few items to make myself comfortable while I do work from home.

And also managing an old house with damp walls, insects and other issues is not easy. And if you are in a same situation like me then my words will help you a lot.

I have tried to write on all the things needed to make a Work from Home office in India and a safe home and that resulted in amarbari.in

The author is experienced with electrical appliances, solar system set up, gardening, insecticides and work from home setup.


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